On April 2, more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, small business owners and members of the Chicago business community will gather for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce’s annual Exchange Partnership event.

The event is Chicago’s largest business networking opportunity of the year, and this year it will focus on the role of technology in fostering the success of small businesses, and fueling job creation and economic growth.

New research from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that US SMBs that leverage technology had 10 points higher job growth and 11 points higher revenue growth than “low-tech” SMBs. The research also concluded that if just 15% of low-tech SMBs and 25% of mid-tech SMBs became high-tech SMBs, the result would be the addition of more than 2 million jobs and $357 billion into the US economy.

Tech-forward SMBs experience greater productivity and are able to better compete with much larger players. They employ the full range of available tools, like productivity software and cloud-based services.  By contrast, low-tech SMBs that don’t take advantage of technology’s opportunities, create fewer jobs than their high-tech counterparts.

Event speakers include:

Daymond John, branding expert, star of ABC’s hit business-themed show “Shark Tank” and entrepreneur who grew his fashion brand to deliver $350 million in revenue in a single year.

Theresa E. Mintle, president and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, who will highlight key opportunities for Chicago businesses in 2014 and lay out a compelling vision for the economic growth.

Derek Kennedy, Partner at BCG, who will deliver deep insights from the latest research on how technology promotes business growth.

Thomas Hansen, worldwide VP of Microsoft’s SMB Group, who will share perspectives on business growth and the amazing stories of SMBs that are using technology to drive their success.

For more information, please visit the event registration site.